December 12

With the temperatures as cold as they are, Lake Meade, our local inland lake, now has a few inches of ice.  Some of the braver, or more desperate, have moved their ice shanty’s in place to start fishing.  I wish them a lot of luck; personally, I’m terrified of being on ice.  I’ve seen too many break thru when they hit a thin spot.  Still it’s nice to see the town people doing something so ….. normal.  There were even a few ice-skaters out there too.  It’s interesting to see the transformation going on.  There are no lights for decorations, but I’m now seeing garlands of all colors going up; Wreaths on doors; cedar boughs on railings; and people walking around instead of driving. It’s looking like a Currier & Ives Christmas card!

Thinking of breaking thru ice reminded me of a story I read years ago, At Home In The Woods, where the young wife ice-skated to town down the frozen river.  She would carry a long tree sapling with her just in case she fell thru the ice; the pole would catch on the edges and she wouldn’t sink. Yikes!  That gave me shivers up my spine then and it still does!


  1. Wow, the rock and the tree ideas… I’d never heard of those. VERY smart, though. 🙂

  2. Kris in MN says:

    agreed — especially about wanting more.
    Although it’s a good thing to have it dispensed in small doses.. helps me “get stuff done”… ;-D
    A stick for an ice crossing is a good idea… I assume the people also had a way to start a fire (for drying out/living) if they actually did fall thru.. I would not wanna be in those very cold soggy shoes….
    I read a book once about a girl who needed to leave an island but had no boat. She waited till winter, then walked out on the ice each day with a large rock… she tossed it in front of her when she got uncertain of the ice. When it broke thru & went into the water, she knew the ice there wasn’t able to support her weight. Eventually she was able to get all the way across to shore. Tedious though.
    I live where people routinely ice-fish & I still marvel.”But how do you KNOW the ice will support you?” I ask. They just laugh.

  3. Was reading a couple of books by “Woodswoman” Anne Labastille and her writings reminded me so much of you! There is a major time warp however, because in her day (1960-70’s) the Adirondack lakes that she lived on allowed her to drink straight from the water. Amazing, isn’t it, how a few short years can make a previous practice impossible?
    Anyway, she lived on the shores of Black Lake and often used the iced over lake as a more direct route to town during the wintertime-she too carried such a stick to help her in case of the ice breaking.
    She built her own cabin from scratch, with a little help from her friends, and lived an entirely off-grid existence long before we were calling it “off-grid”.
    Always enjoying your installments, but like everyone else, wanting MORE!

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